Right before the book of “Revelation,” there is an itty bitty book called “Jude.” Only 1 chapter, great for a quick Bible fix. But Jude is more than a scriptural appetizer. It is chock-full of Easter eggs and rabbit holes.
He fleshes out the character of Enoch, who got a mere 4 sentences in Genesis (5:21-24). Here we see him as a prophet of the most high God, a view we see repeated in the apocryphal book of “Enoch” (which are kinda like the deleted scenes in the Bible). The prophet speaks of the LORD coming with legions of angels to convict the ungodly. It also speaks of fallen angels bound in chains until the end of days for their rebellion in the heavenly realms.
We also see a scene where the angel Michael and Satan are battling over the body of Moses. We are told in the book of Deuteronomy (34:6) that God buried Moses in the land of Moab, but other than that we left to wonder where Moses’ final resting place really was. Perhaps God did want people going back to pay homage. He was always pressing the Israelites forward (in this case, into the Promised Land).
A very interesting thing comes out of that section, specifically in verses 9 and 10. It says that Michael did not fight Satan on his own terms, but rebuked the Prince of Darkness in the name of the LORD. In contrast, the verses tell us that, meanwhile, we humans blaspheme the spiritual realm willy-nilly.
If that’s not a wake-up call, I don’t know what is.
Reminds me of the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:11-20). These would-be exorcists took it upon themselves to get rid of some local demons while Paul is off doing miracles and stuff. The demons turn on the sons, beat them up, and strip them naked, sending them home with their pride hurt just as much as their bodies.
Now, these fellows even invoked the name of Jesus in their attempted exorcisms, but it was not their Jesus. It was Paul’s. The demons paid no lip service to someone lacking that personal relationship with the LORD.
Jesus in fact warns us in Matthew 12:43-45 about the danger of improperly casting out demons, telling us that often a cast out demon will leave for a time but come back with seven more of its friends. Imagine how miserable the offender will be then!
It’s like a fad diet. When diets are done improperly (without grounding in our daily life and routine), the diet lasts for a bit, but then snaps back and we end up even less healthy than before.
All that to say, Jude reminds us over and over again in its little book that there is a big spiritual realm out there. If we don’t give it proper heed, if we don’t face it armed with an intimate relationship with the LIVING and POWERFUL GOD, we can soon find ourselves in a heap of trouble.
Think about all the people who come face-to-face with it in the Bible. Moses, Isaiah, Mary, John, Old Testament, New. It doesn’t matter. One look at Jesus and everyone falls to the ground. One day every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD (Romans 14:11).
Jude also reminds us never to underestimate the little guy, the lesser known Scriptures. Everything in the Bible brings something to the table, just like all of us.